In the fall of 2006, I had the pleasure to interview a long-time professor of Russian history at the University of Missouri, Charles E. Timberlake. Professor Timberlake taught at Mizzou for 37 years until his retirement in 2004. We discussed the strained relations between Russia and Georgia and why the two nations appeared to be on a collision course — which, of course, has proved to be the case.
Prof. Timberlake gave us a brief history of the Soviet Union and its disintegration, and some of the root causes of the tensions that exploded into full-scale war between Russia and Georgia Friday, August 8, 2008.
Surprise: Oil plays a role.
You can listen to the interview by clicking the arrow on the player below, or you can download the mp3 file by right-clicking (or control-clicking for Macs) the “download” link.
Note: Prof. Timberlake passed away March 21, 2008 in Columbia, Missouri. He was a respected historian and member of the MU faculty. I wish I’d had the opportunity to speak with him more than the few times we talked before and after the interview, which aired on The Eagle 93.9 in Columbia on October 11, 2006.